If you want to take action to help protect coral reefs, wear a rash guard instead of slathering on the sunscreen. Recent studies have shown that chemicals in sunscreen, like oxybenzone, can be harmful to coral reefs. Corals are tiny soft-bodied animals called polyps. Their food is provided by photosynthesis from the algae that lives within the polyps. The chemicals in sunscreen can cause the corals to become ill and die.
What can you do to help the corals stay healthy? Use sunscreen WITHOUT oxybenzone, wear a rash guard or other protective clothing. They are more reliable and effective at protecting skin from the sun's rays. No constant reapplying necessary!
If you need to look around or talk with your friend or family while snorkeling, roll over on your back and tuck your knees to your chest to prevent your feet or fins from damaging corals and other creatures below you.
When using a noodle or other floatation device be aware of your feet! The noodle causes you to swim or float in an upright position. This causes your feet to hang below you damaging resources. Always remain horizontal in the water.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint:
While visiting Virgin Islands National Park or Coral Reef National Monument consider taking a taxi to your destination.
With the constant increase in visitation parking near beaches and other popular destinations parking has become difficult with no parking spots available after 10:00 am many days. This results in people parking illegally. Illegal parking damages trees, shrubbery and creates erosion.
Please consider taking a taxi to your destination to reduce the stress on natural resources. Always remember to schedule the taxi to come back for you at the end of the day.
St John Taxi Association phone number is 340-693-7530.
Recycle Recycle Recycle!
Going to the beach or for a hike? Pack up your water and lunch using refillable water containers and washable storage containers. Remember every bottle or food container brought on the island goes in the landfill. Our islands are small so don't fill them up!
Most of our stores sell water bottles which you can use to remember your days in Virgin Islands National Park when you get home. "Single use water bottles take over 1,000 years to bio-degrade!" According to huffingtonpost.com Eighty percent of the water bottles we buy end up in landfills, the absolute worst place for them to be. That means roughly for every 10 bottles we drink, only two end up in the recycle bin.
Last updated: September 15, 2022